John Bates Jr. has been in the mediation business long enough that he remembers when volunteers for the court were specifically instructed not to try to settle cases. It was back in the 1980s, and Bates was a litigation partner at what is now Cooley Godward Kronish, dabbling in pro bono mediation work. The idea was to use the so-called mediators as case managers, Bates said, to streamline motions and discovery. Eventually, though, Bates brought up the possibility of settlement with some parties.
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